The Benefits of Good Charcoal: Sweet Green Chilli Pork Shoulders

What charcoal do you use when you barbecue?  Whatever you can find in the supermarket?  Maybe you’re more bbq savvy and use brands like Big K instead.  Have you ever thought about looking for a local producer of charcoal? No?  I think you should give it a go and here’s why.

It’s just better in every way!  Ok, it is more expensive but I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying ‘you get what you pay for’.  Well, that is also true for charcoal.  I know you’re probably asking yourself “what difference does it make so long as it burns?”.  Well, actually quite a bit.  The cheap charcoal you normally find in supermarkets is of a lower quality and therefore more difficult to light.  Sometimes they create ‘easy light’ options which are covered in chemicals to make it burn more easily but it makes your food taste awful.  A good quality charcoal will impart a really nice flavour to your food.  You wouldn’t really understand until you try it so I strongly recommend that you do.   You can even buy bags of charcoal where only one particular species of wood has been used to make that charcoal.  Each different type of wood can add a completely different flavour to your food so it’s worth exploring which you like best.  Most of the time I buy a mixed species bag of charcoal which is a good allrounder.  If great tasting food isn’t a good enough reason to buy UK charcoal then consider the environment.  Charcoal produced in the UK usually only comes from managed and sustainable woodland so you know you’re helping to save the planet at the same time.  If you’re unsure where to look try searching online or asking members of the CountryWoodSmoke Facebook group.  I have used both Oxford Charcoal Company and Resiliant Woodlands Charcoal with great success and both deliver throughout the UK.


Today was my first ever time cooking with the charcoal produced by Resiliant Woodlands Charcoal.  They are a local producer so I have been excited to give this stuff a go.  As you can see the pieces are big enough.  Not huge but I’ve never really seen the point of that anyway.  It lit very easily and within minutes I was ready to cook.  For a quick and easy cook, I chose to cook two pork shoulder steaks.  One plain for my daughter and one sweet green chilli marinated version.

The flavour of the pork was incredible!  A very subtle but delicious smokey bbq flavour with the sweet and spicy sauce was delicious.  The only problem was the fact I had slightly overcooked the pork in my efforts to ensure it was cooked through.   Nevertheless, the charcoal did its job and I’m happy with my purchase.  On to the next cook!


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Written by Tomos Newland-Jones @MrNewland66


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